Chaos and collapse: European football’s not-so-super league – podcast

Plans released on Sunday night for a breakaway European Super League have stunned the world of football and provoked a massive backlash against the clubs involved. Six English teams joined three each from Spain and Italy to announce the new venture which they say would involve midweek matches supplanting Uefa’s Champions League.

The announcement was met with fury from Europe’s football governing bodies, from fans and politicians who pledged to do everything in their power to prevent the breakaway league going ahead. Two days later, all six English clubs had pulled out and the entire scheme had spectacularly unravelled.

The Guardian sports writer David Conn tells Rachel Humphreys that a breakaway league has long been rumoured but the financial pressures brought on by the Covid pandemic finally led to Europe’s biggest clubs taking the next step. But they had misjudged the strength of feeling – and the power – of their fans, who united across old rivalries to demand an end to the venture. Now, as the recriminations from the episode continue, could there be momentum for long-discussed reforms to the governance of elite football that would give more power to fans to influence the way their clubs are run?

  • Clips from: RTVE news, Sky Sports News, Rai News, BBC 5 live, Mega TV, Parliament, The Sun

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton - Premier League<br>LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Tottenham Hotspur fans protest against the European Super League prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 21, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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